Wii U Video Shows Reduced Load Times After April Firmware Update

By Ishaan . March 26, 2013 . 7:10pm


One of the major complaints about the Wii U is that the system’s load times are simply too long when navigating its main Wii U menu. Back in January, Nintendo said that they would work towards improving these load times incrementally in two separate firmware updates. The first of these will be released in April.


This evening, Nintendo released a video showing the difference in load times when returning to the Wii U menu from a game after the upcoming system update has been installed. You can watch it above.


As previously reported, the Wii U Virtual Console is set to launch after the April update has been released. A selection of NES and SNES games will be available at launch, with other platforms such as Game Boy Advance to follow in the future.

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  • Draparde

    Wow, it is much faster!

    the loading times *are* a bit long…but i guess i just got used to them…or never really cared all that much anyway. im glad their gonna be shorter though~!

  • $39420547

    yep that’s short…

  • ronin4life

    Can’t see video at the moment(damn usage cap…)

    But the VC situation damn well better be leagues ahead of the 3ds. I’m talking at least half a dozen releases a week until the wii VC is replicated. The VC approach since 3ds launched has been stupid.

    • idrawrobots

      I highly doubt that is going to happen. The thing is, you can still download and play all the Wiiware and VC games from the Wii. It’s a shame all that content wasn’t integrated into the eShop but I’m not upset about it.

  • Micrll

    The fact that Nintendo has to do a video about this is just sad. It should never have been this slow in the first place.

    • Rohan Viajar

      I can understand what you’re saying. (a finished product shouldn’t have problems like this)
      but unexpected problems occur all the time. at least they’re fixing a problem they were made aware of geez.

      • sunK1D

        What’s unexpected about this? Are you saying that Nintendo has no quality control? No company should get a free pass for crap like this, Nintendo included.

        • Rohan Viajar

          I never said that they didn’t have quality control.
          and I cannot ascertain for sure whether or not they knew this problem before hand.

          but I say we should give them the benefit of the doubt because they are at least fixing it (and it hasn’t been that long since the wii u came out, so their response time is pretty fast mind you)

          (I say this as a case by case standpoint. not saying that we should take crap from companies.)

    • Anon-non

      At least Nintendo has the decency to admit their mistakes. You don’t see that with the ‘Big 2’. They touted their machines like God-sent perfection.

    • you cant wait 25 seconds?

  • sunK1D

    I hope they lost a lot of customers/sales over that. It’s 2013… No one should be putting up with crap like that.

    • Anon-non

      Can’t tell if sarcastic… or ridiculous. Because the PS3 almost as slow.

      • neo_firenze

        As someone who uses both, I think it’s ridiculous to claim that WiiU isn’t noticeably worse than PS3. Not only is WiiU slower (and on a 6 year newer system we shouldn’t be getting WORSE), but WiiU is more annoying because the load times are much more pervasive and come up frequently by doing normal tasks. PS3 has a long load to get into the Playstation store, but otherwise is fairly snappy to navigate.

        This change is absolutely necessary, and at least they’re fixing it. Really no excuse for it launching in as sorry a state as it did though.

        • While the PS3 might not be as slow when closing a retail game and going back to menu and viewing settings, you can’t be serious about the Playstation Store. The PS Store is horrible, nothing is as bad as that, it loads at every second, every action you take it’ll load it’s the worst experience I’ve had on any platform.

          • neo_firenze

            The new PS Store is WAY too laggy, I’ll agree there. But at least it’s decently organized. Nintendo’s stores universally feature haphazard organization, poor search features, and having to slowly browse through multiple pages.

            And that’s just comparing the relatively self-contained store apps – which, fair enough, both Nintendo and Sony need to improve. But Wii U is universally slow to load ANY system function, where at least PS3 has a lot of instantly accessible functionality right from the XMB system OS (for instance, going into system settings is instant on PS3 and requires a slow app launch on WiiU). Stuff like MiiVerse and Nintendo TVii may be good ideas, but the annoyance in actually using them due to the poor system UI optimization really hurts them. I’m hoping the OS improvement is substantial so the system can live up to its full potential.

            If Sony’s comments on PS4 are to be believed, Nintendo REALLY needs to get themselves in order quickly too. Wii U isn’t going to be compared to PS3/360, it’s going to spend most of its life during the generation of the PS4/720. Sony seems to be focusing on always-on/always-ready, quick and responsive system with no waiting. That’s going to be in stark comparison to the Wii U’s clunky interface and it’s going to be a glaring fault for Nintendo if they don’t get it fixed soon.

    • huh?

  • idrawrobots

    This was never a big deal to me, but I’m glad they making it better.

  • Spirit Macardi

    I honestly never thought the Wii U was any slower at loading than the PS3 is. Still though, cool to see that they’ve managed to improve it drastically. I’m wondering either how they got it to go so fast now or what was slowing it down before.

    • wampdog29

      Exactly what I’m sayin’. I was testing this theory the other day and found that the PS3 is actually pretty damn slow as well. I never cared or noticed until people complained about the Wii U which in turn made me really pay attention to all of the major consoles. Hell, even my Google TV has some slowness to it… and even further than that, my TV cable box is also delayed…. I dunno. I think people complain a bit too much. Nice to see Ninty make their console that much better, however.

  • Damn, the original load times are terrible. I wanted to buy one at launch but lots of factors prevented that. Even if I could afford it now I’m deciding to wait until this holiday. By then the two big updates will be out, all the features it was supposed to launch with will be on the system and quality exclusives plus multiplats should be out for it.

    Playing Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate on my 3DS for now, it’s gonna be awesome to play it in HD and online. So I’m still very much looking forward to buying one.

    • gamefreak86

      Wii U MH is awesome. Just tried 3DS and gonna sell it. Top screen bothers me.

      • It doesn’t bother me at all but I got an XL. Though touch screen is fantastic and works really well with monster hunter. I removed the clutter on the top screen so I only have my health bar up there. It’s great.

        • gamefreak86

          Have 3ds xl, maybe just me.

          • Lol had you played it on the PSP you would have hated it so hard

          • gamefreak86

            Yeah played bout 300+ hours on mhfu. after a while the screen started hurting my eyes. had 3000. Now play it on vita.

          • Shame the demo isnt an accurate representation of the game

  • Suicunesol


    I was going to defend Nintendo about the load times, but man those really are long. o_o

  • Anon-non

    I’m not a big tech person, so I find it weird that closing a game takes longer than starting one up. Any smart people here to educate me on this?

    • Holyfire

      It’s just poor programming, it’s essentially a new operating system for Nintendo and they need to improve the code on it (Windows has been evolving for decades (and I still hate it))
      Closing game takes ages Cause its re-loading the WiiU menu entirely.
      Windows for example has the Operating system sitting in the back ground behind the game renders u visually watch and play

  • they should release a pokemon game with the same solid mechanics on hand helds but in 3D with a skyrim esque world (in terms of expansiveness but not buggyness) and then the wii u will be fine.Pokemon games have been too shy to take the real step forward.

  • SetzerGabbiani

    Glad the VC is coming. I’m ready to play Secret of Mana (for the millionth time) off screen.

  • Rei

    My only complain about the Wii U was the loading time to get back to the main menu. Glad it’s a lot more faster now. Hopefully they will be able to make it instant in the future.

  • Aoshi00

    I’m not sure how people could say the Wii U load times were nothing as illustrated by this comparison video, they were frequent and long, loading a game, getting out of a game back to the main menu, getting into e-shop, getting out of e-shop, buying and downloading any game, etc. I use the 360 and PS3 all the time, they don’t load that long, and certainly not for every single thing. It takes the PS3 long to sync trophies, the achievement are fast, and the Wii U unfortunately has none :P.. I would say the 360 is the fastest in terms of interface. Also both PS3 & Wii U require install after d/l, while for 360 there’s no install you just play anything right away.

    I’m glad they’re finally fixing it though w/ this update.. I rarely use my Wii U.. one reason is I only have Mario.. and to be honest, the load and frequent load times really put me off. I hope a 2nd update would let us use the pro controller to play Mario, then there’d be a reason to get it. Why would the controller not work w/ so many games?

  • The Watcher

    reminds me of that vid comparing tales of the abyss load times between ps2 vs 3ds

    • Lol glad I played it on the 3DS, I spent 325 hours on that game

  • Zonic505

    Wow, that was over 10 seconds shorter. Cannot wait to download this update in the following weeks. Hopefully we’ll get a release date soon.

  • Sergio Briceño

    I counted 9 as opposed to 25 seconds. Wow. I don’t have a Wii U and didn’t know it took it so long to load. It’s almost like the first couple of years of the XMB.

  • The Wii U OS is actually pretty nice and easy to use the Load times were a buit long but no worse than the PS3 or 360. Nice that that fixed the problem anyway.

  • T-X

    My dear god I never realized i would wait that long ._. Its like a Hyperbolic Time Chamber or something.

    EDIT: also I didn’t know Virtual Console wasn’t out yet, because I totally got F-Zero not too long ago… weird ~_~

  • gquain

    i also have the Wii U and just now i realized its ultra long loading process!
    I am ashamed that i never actually noticed it

  • Göran Isacson

    Welp. All I can really say is that I’m happy I held out on buying WiiU. Hopefully the model I pick up from the store will work far smoother.

  • Tails the Foxhound

    Is Menu → Game sped up too or just Game → Menu? I’d assume it’s both. To tell the truth, it feels like loading takes an eternity now that I’ve seen the future, lol.

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